AVID cricket followers could be forgiven for experiencing a sense of deja vu when they glance at this season’s main prizewinners.
Two years ago, Delph & Dobcross made it almost a clean sweep, when Bruce Cruse won the Premiership batting prize, Kamran Mirza the bowling and Graeme Simpson the fielding prize – and quite incredibly, the same three players have done it again!
Meanwhile, the other major prize, for the best wicketkeeper in the entire League, has been won for the second year in succession by Richard Jakeman, from League champions Honley.
Tasmanian-born Cruse was one of seven batsmen to notch 1,000 runs this season in League and Sykes Cup, although his winning average of 64.06 was purely for his League-only runs.
Those were interspersed with four centuries, three of which were undefeated (his highest being 182) which obviously went a big way towards him claiming the award for a second time in three seasons.
His teammate Mirza again took the bowling, claiming 65 wickets, four more than in 2005, but with an inferior average of 16.69, which, incidentally, would have seen him down in seventh place two seasons back.
Meanwhile, the third member of the Delph triumvirate and Cruse’s brother-in-law, Simpson clung onto 17 victims, exactly the same total as in 2005.
In all it was quite a remarkable achievement for a team who finished only sixth in the League and lost to eventual winners Skelmanthorpe in the Sykes Cup semi-finals, and the odds on the same three players winning the identical prizes two years down the line must be astronomical.
Jakeman’s success (this third overall, having first won it in 2000) was not quite as prolific as last season when he set a new record of 58 (49 in the League), but his 34 victims (24 catches, 10 stumpings) maintains his position as the best gloveman in Huddersfield.
The Conference prizes, were perhaps less a surprise than some of the main recipients, as the award-winners came from the champions of their respective divisions, Holmfirth and Barkisland.
Javed Iqbal junior’s fabulous 84-wicket return made him a clear winner of the Tom Oldham bowling award with pretty useful average of 10.21 which was a massive factor in Holmfirth storming to the Cedar Court title. It will be interesting to see what he does next year in the Premiership.
The Ronnie Sykes batting trophy was perhaps not as obvious as winner Paul Winrow had (for him) a very poor start to the campaign.
Indeed it took the skipper until his eighth innings to reach the 100 mark in total!
But he certainly finished it in style with his last eight knocks amassing 659 runs, which included his fantastic 206 not out against Linthwaite.